Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mexican Toddler Killed While Fleeing Shootout With Mother (21 Dead in 24 Hours)

More dangerous than Iraq now? This is an amazing article.

TIJUANA, Mexico — Four men were shot dead in front of a crowd at an amusement park, a toddler died after the car he was traveling in crashed during a gunbattle, and a businessman was killed after leading a protest against violence, officials said Thursday.

All together, 21 people died during 24 hours across Mexico, which is waging a fierce battle against drug traffickers and other criminal gangs.

In Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, the four men were shot inside a go-cart rental at the Xtreme amusement park Wednesday night, said Alejandro Pariente, a spokesman for the local prosecutor's office. The park had been filled with teenagers, bicycling through obstacle courses, skating and rappelling.

Police had no suspects and had not disclosed possible motives for the shootings.

Elsewhere in the city, a used car salesman was shot to death while driving down a main boulevard hours after leading hundreds of other business owners in a protest against kidnappings and extortion, Pariente said.

The protesters had gathered at the Treasury Department's local offices, threatening to close their businesses or stop paying taxes if they did not receive police protection. One protester, who refused to give his name because he feared for his safety, said hundreds of business owners have been targeted by extortioners who demand up to US$500 a week for "protection" against crime. Others have been kidnapped for ransom.

In Tijuana, a 1-year-old boy was killed when the car he was riding in crashed as the driver tried to flee a gunbattle late Wednesday between police and three armed men, officials in the state prosecutor's office said. The toddler, who had been sitting in his mother's lap, died from the impact of the crash.

Two men were taken into custody after the shooting, and one officer was wounded.

Two other people were found dead early Thursday in Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, California, including a badly burned corpse left in a trash bin.

Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez have both seen nearly daily killings as Mexico is swept up in a wave of drug-related bloodshed. Officials blame the violence on cartels fighting over lucrative smuggling routes.

Elsewhere in northern Mexico, 10 gunmen were killed in running battles with state police in the city of Nogales, across the border from Nogales, Arizona, according to a police statement.

The fighting started when assailants in a car opened fire on police searching another vehicle. The police fired back, killing one of the armed men and injuring another.

The rest of the gunmen fled in both cars, at one point hurling grenades at the police pursuing them. One of the fleeing cars crashed into a wall, killing three gunmen. Three gunmen in the other car were killed in a subsequent shootout with the police, and others died at local hospitals.

Outside the northeastern city of Monterrey, meanwhile, a soldier, the director of a security firm and third man were found stabbed to death alongside a highway Wednesday, officials from the prosecutor's office said. At least 10 soldiers have been found dead in Nuevo Leon state, where Monterrey is located, in the past two weeks. - Mexican Toddler Killed While Fleeing Shootout With Mother - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News

Friday, October 17, 2008

Monterrey gunfire shuts U.S. consulate

The official US spokes-monkey says: "“No one should believe they can attack a United States government facility with impunity.” Ha, ha, ha. Sure, the banditos are quaking in their boots I am sure.

Monterrey gunfire shuts U.S. consulate.

Recommend 0 Sean Mattson - Express-News MONTERREY, Mexico — The U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey suspended visa service Thursday as combat-ready police surrounded the building after reports of nearby gunfire.

The midday mobilization came just four days after two assailants attacked the consulate with at least six .45-caliber gunshots and a hand grenade that did not detonate.

“I have made the decision to suspend visa services to the public for the rest of the day today while we assess the security situation,” Tony Garza, U.S. ambassador to Mexico, said in a statement Thursday.

The shooting came less than 24 hours after Garza visited the consulate to investigate Sunday's attack.

It was unclear how close Thursday's shots were to the consulate, which is one of the United States' busiest visa issuers.

By late Thursday, authorities had made no arrests in Sunday's attack, nor had they cited a motive or shared leads in the investigation.

One high-ranking Nuevo León state official said he doubted Sunday's attack was carried out by organized crime.

“If it had been organized crime, I think they would have set off the (grenade) and shot with a different type of weapon,” said Aldo Fasci, the state's public security minister.

Garza, after his Wednesday visit to Monterrey, said authorities would find those responsible for the attack.

“They will find that it was a mistake to target a United States consulate,” he said in a statement. “No one should believe they can attack a United States government facility with impunity.”
Monterrey gunfire shuts U.S. consulate

Four People Wounded During Gun Battle in Mexico[Matamoros]

There is a nice video of the action at the link.
More border wars.
Shootout lasted several hours

MATAMOROS, Mexico - Four people were wounded during a shootout between suspected drug cartel members and the Mexican Military on Thursday.

Officials say the shootout lasted several hours, one soldier and four suspected cartel members were wounded.

Many Americans heading out of Matamoros had no idea what had happened.

"The truth is I don't know more, just the one street is all closed," says Daniel Quintanal.

Mexican media is reporting that four suspected cartel members were arrested as they tried to cross the river into America. The U.S. Border Patrol was unable to confirm the report.

Four People Wounded During Gun Battle in Mexico[Matamoros]

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nogales, Sonora named in new US travel warning

All of Mexico has problems, but the border towns are really no-go areas for tourists at this point. Public shootouts in shopping malls "during daylight hours". If at night it would still be OK to go there? Ha!

Nogales, Sonora named in new US travel warning By Brady McCombs
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.14.2008

The increasing levels of drug-related violence in Nogales, Sonora, has earned the Mexican border city a dubious distinction: it’s mentioned in a new travel warning issued by the U.S. Department of State alongside notoriously dangerous cities such as Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo.

Previous warnings have talked in general terms about precautions to take when traveling in Mexico along the U.S.-Mexican border region but did not single out any Sonoran city. This new warning mentions Nogales as one of the cities that have “recently experienced public shootouts during daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues.”
It also mentions Route 15 between Nogales and Hermosillo as an area where “criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles.”"

Friday, October 10, 2008

More than two dozen die amid Mexico violence - Los Angeles Times

MEXICO CITY -- In another violent spasm, more than two dozen people were killed in Mexico within hours late Thursday and early Friday, including a newspaper publisher, two federal agents and a group gunned down as they drank at a bar.

The slayings came as Mexico endures an unprecedented wave of drug-related warfare that has claimed thousands of lives as narcotics trafficking networks battle among themselves and with authorities.

In the northern city of Chihuahua, 11 people died when four masked men dressed in black entered the Rio Rosas bar late Thursday and raked customers with gunfire. Seven people were wounded. The gunmen reportedly gained entrance by telling a guard that they were conducting a routine inspection. They disappeared into the night after the shootings, state prosecutors said, and no arrests had been made.

A columnist for a local newspaper was among the dead.

Early Friday, two federal agents and two suspected drug traffickers were killed in a shootout along the highway between Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez, a city that borders Texas and has been an epicenter of drug violence.

In a separate incident, Miguel Angel Villagomez, the editor and publisher of La Noticia, a daily newspaper in the state of Michoacan, was found dead Friday morning with three gunshots to his body.

Associates said Villagomez left the newspaper office, in the Pacific port city of Lazaro Cardenas, on Thursday afternoon to give one of his employees a ride home. He was apparently followed, intercepted and seized, the associates said.

Francisco Rivera, deputy editor, said the paper recently published photographs of banners that had appeared in the city, purportedly the work of drug traffickers, and that might have been the reason Villagomez was targeted.

"We don't see any other motive," Rivera said in a telephone interview.

The banners, dozens of which have popped up in cities all over the country, offer rewards for the capture of suspects in a Sept. 15 grenade attack on civilians in the Michoacan state capital of Morelia, and appear to be part of a mutual finger-pointing campaign between rival drug gangs.

Journalist advocacy groups have rated Mexico as one of the most dangerous countries in the world to work as a reporter. The Inter American Press Assn. this week urged Mexican authorities to end what is in effect impunity for the killers of journalists by more seriously investigating such crimes.

In Tijuana, where fighting has surged in recent weeks and dozens have died, 13 people were reported killed late Thursday and early Friday. Among those shot to death, authorities said, was Francisco Javier Salas, a newspaper vendor. He may have been targeted after witnessing a slaying, Mexican media reported.

More than two dozen die amid Mexico violence - Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mexican police beat, kill Oregon tourist

Mexican police are found guilty in the fatal beating of an Oregon tourist

Sam Botner was arrested and assaulted at a jail in Cabo.
By Mark Workhoven
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Four Mexican officers are found guilty in the death of an Oregon tourist near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The Yoncalla tourist on vacation was beaten in a Mexican jail, after getting arrested for stabbing a man outside his rented condo. A judge decided to convict the four Mexican jail guards of manslaughter. A surveillance video shows the men beating Sam Botner to death in a Cabo San Lucas jail. Botner and his wife were vacationing in Mexico to celebrate his completion of a commercial fishing trip.

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